Understanding of spasticity: implications for practice

What do you really know about spasticity and its individual triggers?

Spasticity is a poorly understood phenomenon, both by medical professionals as by patients. The aim of this paper is to comprehend the effect of spasticity on daily life and identify bedside strategies that enhance patient’s function and improve comfort.

Patients with MS, stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury experiencing spasticity were asked to complete a semi-structured interview to explain and describe the nature of their experienced spasticity on daily basis.

Key points: Spasticity affects activities of daily living, function, and mobility. Pain, discomfort, stress and fatigue are enhancing spasms, as are comorbidities such as UTI’s. and kidney stones. Undertreated spasticity can lead to pain, immobility, and risk of falls.

Helpful strategies were identified: a holistic approach to medication by doctors, daily and thorough stretching, comfort strategies such as warm water and quiet environments, and use of alternative medicine like meditation and acupuncture for mood control.


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